OCD, Anxiety & Bipolar Mania

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I don’t know if there is an evidence showing link between OCD and Bipolar Mania. I just recently had worst obsessions (Pure O and Mental Rituals) that ruined my inner peace. I had obsessions about death, afterlife, hell, heaven and day of judgement. I had intense thoughts that life of this world is just temporary and meaningless so why do we celebrate a birth of child, why do we study, work and enjoy things that are perishable and volatile. Maybe other people also ruminate on these things but a thought of a mental patient is far different from a person who is not a mental patient ( I didn’t use word ‘normal’ here because mental patients are not abnormal).

The obsessions were so intense that they made me psychotic. I kept on thinking about it and keep convincing myself, seek reassurance (mental rituals) which gave me peace of few minutes and same idea popped up again in my mind followed by re-assurance and same cycle goes on. In that period of almost 2-3 months I couldn’t perform simple day-to-day tasks, like washing hands, taking bath, eating food etc. My mind was always thinking and thinking without expecting new results.

I was not in my home country that time. Upon returning back, I consulted with my Pdoc and he prescribed me Epival (Divalproex sodium) and increased Risperdone. It was the same prescription that I used  to have previously in hypo/manic period. That made me wonder if there is some connection between OCD and Mania. Because previously when I was hypomanic, I got super excited and energised. But this time I didn’t get excited, apparently I was very normal with emotions, just had these obsessive thoughts.

Along with OCD, my anxiety was also increased. I was unable to travel because I became anxious and impatient while in traffic or in metro or malls. I consciously avoided public places when I had a choice. Moreover, I always felt full bladder, and felt an urgency of urine, though I didn’t have a need to go to washroom in real.

Also, I had health anxiety, whenever I heard about anyone’s disease in family or on television, I feared if I might have that illness, I spent hours in anxiety and panic thinking what would happen if I have that disease. It was a miserable state.

Secondly, I want to have your opinion regarding changing the environment. Does anyone get severe illness symptoms when you changed your environment? moved to different city or country? does travelling and changing place trigger your depressive or manic symptoms?

Blessings

Rayan.

 

 

Blend of Misery and Blessings

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A few days ago, one of my followers commented on my post No More in Mainstream The comment was “Hope you find beauty in the wilderness” I really like that comment and decided to write a poem on this theme later on. I was just thinking about the phrase and some quick flashes of blessings given by my misery i.e. Bipolar Homosexuality, hit my mind. It is obvious that Bipolar Disorder is a serious painful illness and the sufferer loses his identity in the ongoing periods of highs and lows for the entire life. Low self-esteem, lack of energy, emptiness, and loss of interest in almost every activity of life in the phase of depression lead someone at the point to think about ending his life. And I have gone through it and I do reach to this point quite often in the severe gloomy phases of depression. On the other hand, impulsiveness, inability to make wise decisions, racing thoughts, excessive sex drive, and random actions in the period of Hypomania and psychosis in full manic episode also makes the sufferer at the extreme level of discomfort and instability.

And in my case, if the bipolar man is homosexual, his miseries get even worse. He has to fight with two issues at the same time. In my country and the faith I follow, homosexuality is forbidden. I don’t know about your views (whoever is reading the post) but as I was raised in a system that somehow I also feel homosexuality is not natural (despite I am convinced somewhere inside that it is natural) I don’t know, I am confused. One of the most important thing in Bipolar Homosexuality is ultimate sex craving – imagine, a bipolar who is not married (he doesn’t want to marry because it is a big responsibility and marriages fail due to bipolar illness and secondly he is gay) and also, he is confused about gay sex. Yes, I am talking about myself. In hypomanic or sometimes in psychotic depression phase, when I am dying for sex, abstaining from it makes me absolutely crazy. I talk insane and do things that I regret later. I screw terms with family and friends because I am not satisfied internally.

I have talked enough about the misery i.e. wilderness. Now, I will throw some light on how this combination of Bipolar illness and Homosexuality reward me. Despite all miseries, pain and suffering that this combination brings to me, I am thankful to God for the eyes that see and recognize the beauty in the outside world, the ears that are always available for family and friends to listen to their grievances and stories about their life, work and relationships, a kind heart that melts for the suffering humanity, and most of all He blessed me with a creative and thinking mind. What I write on this blog and what you appreciate is all because of these blessings otherwise I would be doing 10 hours job, have a family and kids to take care of, and got stuck in mundane life routine. I wouldn’t get time to think about big questions of the life, about the world, humanity, and I am certain I would not be able to empathize and sympathize with others.

This bipolarity blessed me with the light and the darkness (both at the same time) to see this world. And my homosexuality empowered me to empathize both the genders, that’s why I respect all genders even transgender and don’t discriminate. Also, I know the misery of a prostitute and the irony of this world which makes her that way. I can relate to the abused victims and all those to whom this world is unfair. Bipolar Homosexuality in a way, takes away my peace but in return, empowers me with traits that ‘normal’ people (those who are not bipolar or homosexual) lack. I am different and I MUST find beauty and peace in my wilderness.

Rayan Ahmed

The World is Bipolar

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The world is bipolar

We witness bright day after dark night

The Grey, Black and White

Two poles that sets us apart

Whether uniformity of the crowd

Or the exclusivity of individuals

The hotness of summer

And those chilly winters

The stillness of lake

and manic tides of ocean

The calmness in woods

Speaks the allure wisdom

The pace of metropolis

Triggers mundane boredom

I see two poles everywhere

Whether its sunshine

After the stormy rain

a hope emerges from dark clouds

The Nature trails and whispers

You’re not alone.

~ Rayan Ahmed ~

Image Source:

http://www.pbase.com/image/27942234

A Humble Question from You

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If a diabetic can share his illness with family, friends, and society and folks appear to be concerned about it then WHY a person suffering from bipolar disorder hesitate to share it with his fellow beings and at the first place, Why does s/he feel sorry about him and spend a life in a closet with his haunting thoughts?

Disability Stigma Lies Within

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Before diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, I referred to my ‘sadness’ or ‘excitement’ as casual emotional variation. I have been brought up with proper schooling and used to have enough social activities that everyone enjoys in early life. I used to drive my car to the university. I managed to have a shining and distinctive academic track besides taking too much stress in exam period. I knew that I faced confusion and stress – perhaps because I always used to think on big questions since I was in school. I asked my teacher about the origin of God and the mankind. I used to ponder where these languages came from? And so forth. These are questions that don’t have straight answers. The level of confusion increased to extend that I used to think I might not be a normal person.

I was too much worried about my career and was disturbed due to confusion with sexual orientation, that the anxiety led to nervous breakdown in 2007. Since March 2007, I started Psychiatric drugs, before that I was coping it without any medications. Then in 2011, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 27. After getting this fancy title, I used to analyze my life and the world around with the prejudices of the illness.

Like, I am not a normal person.

I may not live a normal happy life like others.

I am very unfortunate person

I cannot earn enough money to sustain decent life

I may not live a happy family life

And the never-ending comparison between my misery and achievements of friends

I have been taking antipsychotics since 2007 and mood stabilizers since 2011 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar (I don’t skip medicines). And along with the medication, consultation with psychiatrist on regular basis, studying about the disease online and making lifestyle adjustments, I keep experiencing highs and lows (what DSM terms as Depressive and Manic Episodes).

I don’t want to get into the debate whether drugs are working or they are not more than  placebo, I just want to highlight by sharing my story that since after the diagnosis I was put on life-time medications which apparently don’t ‘Cure’ my mood instability and give me so much side effects. Nobody would want to take medicines that keep on increasing year by year without producing a noticeable effect on your thinking and behavior, and in return disturb the brain wiring and biochemical proportions that impairs your overall physiology of body (memory function, weight gain, sleep problems, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, kidney failure, blood pressure, cardiac diseases and what not)

Beside the failure and adverse effects of drugs, the label of ‘Bipolar Disorder’ not only alienate me from the world but also make me disable, less efficient, unfortunate and ultimate failure. I know I am suffering from a horrible mental illness so it’s obvious that I can’t live a happy normal life like my friends. We often fight for acceptance in the society. But the truth is, we carry this ‘Stigma’ within us that holds us back to find and enjoy our share of happiness in the world. We see ourselves and predict our lives with the ‘lens of mental illness.’

Furthermore, when we are entitled to enter in the world of psychiatry and mental health, we explore more related stuff about the ‘disease’ and related illnesses. Then we get amaze to explore more psychological problems (that you may or may not have and regardless of the fact that it is legitimate problem or not) For example, Psychiatry justifies every thought and behavior pattern by packaging it as ‘disorder’ Like I was quite excited and thrilled as a child and didn’t focus on studies attentively so I might be suffering from ADHD or I have quite repetitive thoughts so maybe it’s OCD.  Initially it looks very fascinating to receive such titles as honorary award.

Now when I recall my life history before and after diagnosis, I can claim with no doubt that my life was much better before the diagnosis. I used to laugh on crazy jokes, I got excitement while meeting friends, I was emotional and sensitive, I got upset and offended easily, I was creative and artistic, I was a bright student, I was sympathetic but I was not a Bipolar. I was a normal person like my other friends.

Today, when I read that bipolar people are creative so I regard my creativity with my ‘disease’ not with my ability. When I knew many great writers in history were Bipolar, so I believed that my writing skills are a gift of my ‘illness’ However I took admission in Mass Communication in 2004 when I knew about my interest and capabilities but after my diagnosis as Bipolar in 2011, I realized, Oh that’s the reason why I have good communication skills.

I don’t claim that problems with cognition and behavior don’t exist. But when we give a title to something, it will become our identity and then it will decide our destiny. We just act us puppets.

P.S. I would better want to be known as a Normal person with emotional variation than a Bipolar – Mental Patient.

Rayan Ahmed.

Craving of an Empty Soul

depression+gay+couple I’m an empty soul

Imprisoned in a filthy body

I desire every man I look at

With a deep sense of deprivation

My greedy eyes want him to

Hold me, Love me, and Squeeze me,

Mercilessly. . so that this tainted flesh

Loosens the grip of weakened bones

And my hollow existence is filled,

With shame and pleasurable regrets

Leaving my inner self more thirsty

More desperate and more vulnerable

To submit my dignity once again

To every mouthwatering body

With the same greedy eyes

To succumb my self-worth

In the name of this emptiness

~Rayan~

In the Blues of Gloom

When gratitude Fades Away.  (Image: Google)

When gratitude Fades Away.
(Image: Google)

I know there are many people on the same planet living more miserable life than me; people in Africa are starving to death and I have enough food than my appetite, children don’t have clean water to drink and I waste too much water in shower, women don’t have enough clothes to cover their bodies and I keep buying new outfits for me. I’m not a coldhearted person, I realize the misery of suffering humanity, but when I’m knocked down by my inner self, I become selfish and cruel to think only about my pain and my misery. I consider myself as the most unfortunate person on the planet. My conscious mind disregards all the blessings to be grateful for and my achievements to be proud of and in return, zooms in all the wounds of my soul in the form of deprivation, past failures and future worrisome. Despite knowing, I’m not a part of the social rat race, I start comparison with others. Surprisingly, at this point of time, every person I know appears to be valuable and successful, making most out of his rocking and exciting life. In the sparkling light of which, my dull and boring self becomes more regretful and I get buried in the mud of shame. My existence was never such meaningless as it seems now. At this moment, the power of reason surrenders in front of overwhelming irrational emotions of despair, probably that’s why all the self-help literature I keep reading to boost my morale, fails to encounter the irresistible negativity within and the self-counseling techniques sound not more than an absurd and futile remedy. My self-esteem and self-worth seem far distinct to approach. The light, which I found in myself after going through several sessions of trial and silent meditation, disappeared leaving behind the haunting darkness. The only blessing of such phase that I could recall is a fanciful comfort of death because life, in front of which, seems to be much more frightening.

Rayan.